Week Twenty-four of Your Pregnancy

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Week 24 Info

WEEK 24

Your baby is growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week.  That puts him just over a pound and almost a foot long "picture an ear of corn".  Your baby is growing more proportional every day.  His brain is also growing quickly now.  His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that will eventually produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he's born.  His skin is still thin, wrinkly and translucent.

Your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.  You may be getting a little anxious about your weight gain at this point.  The whole idea of putting of 25 - 30 pounds in such a short period of time can be very daunting.  Now that you are feeling so much better than in the first trimester you may find it extremely easy to gain weight.  Your metabolism has changed such that that occasional chocolate bar or piece of cake may turn right into fat now.  You may gain 3 to 4 pounds per month.  Make every calorie count by eating a varied diet of healthy foods.  Select snacks such as cheese, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, fruits and veggies.  Pregnancy is not the time to try to lose weight or begin a rigorous exercise regime, but regular exercise can be beneficial and ease some of your pregnancy pains.  Regular exercise during pregnancy can help ease backaches and swelling, is a great stress reliever and can help prepare you for the rigors of labor.  Always talk to your healthcare provider about any new exercise program.  They may be able to recommend a prenatal class in your area.

Exercises like prenatal yoga or water aerobics, or walking several times a week are very safe in pregnancy.  Avoid any hard contact sports like skiing, tennis, or sports that require you to make and rapid changes, like high-impact aerobics.  Remember, your goal is not to lose weight but to stay fit.

You may be forming a linea nigra, a dark line between your belly button and your pubic bone.  This is due to the hormones of pregnancy stimulating melanin production in your skin.  This line will eventually disappear over the several months following your baby's birth.

Many women are surprised that people want to start rubbing their bellies as they start to show during pregnancy at 24 weeks and beyond. While some women don't mind, others feel uncomfortable. It isn't uncommon for perfect strangers to come up to you and rub your belly. If it really bothers you, you can always tell them you are ticklish. Or head them off by patting your own belly that way your hand is in the way and may prevent them from reaching out to touch your belly without an invitation. Remember that babies tend to fill the world with joy, that's why so many people are fond of rubbing a pregnant woman's belly. Others believe there is luck to be had by rubbing a pregnant woman's belly... while this has yet to be 'proven' it certainly can't hurt!

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